Gael Monfils vs. Rafael Nadal
|Date & Time||Sunday April 17, 2016, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Gael Monfils +315 / Rafael Nadal -380 -- Over/Under:
|TV Channel||Stream live sports and ESPN originals on-demand on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
Rafael Nadal and Gael Monfils meet Sunday morning in the 2016 Monte Carlo Masters Final.
Rafael Nadal is coming off a three set victory over Andy Murray in which he battled back from dropping the first set. Nadal has now beaten Murray and Stan Wawrinka in back-to-back matches, as he hopes to convince the tennis world that he hasn’t fallen off just yet. Nadal is clearly in better form than he was several months ago, and he’s now won 11 of his last 14 singles matches. Nadal isn’t making nearly as many unforced errors as he has in recent memory, and he’s finishing points a lot quicker and with far more confidence. Nadal is one of those players who is quietly gaining momentum and proper form as the French Open quickly arrives.
Gael Monfils is coming off a straight sets win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga that took just 16 games to finish. I’ve been saying that this is a different Monfils than we’re used to seeing, and 12 victories in his last 14 singles matches kind of shows that. Monfils has been all about business this year and less concerned with giving points away and entertain the crowd. Monfils is holding his serve, taking higher percentage shots and has simply dominated the return game, as he’s won five straight matches in straight sets. Monfils has a great chance to become a top-10 player if he can keep this up, and that would certainly become a bigger possibility if he can get the victory over Nadal here.
These two have played 13 times, and Nadal has won 11 of those meetings. The last meeting was in last year’s Stuttgart Open, a match Nadal won in straight sets. Monfils’ only victories over Nadal came in the 2009 Doha Open and 2012 Doha Open.
I really love the way Monfils has been playing this season and have been crying that he finally grows up and takes the sport more seriously. Well, here you are. However, Nadal is simply the better player, has history on his side and doesn’t lose on clay very often. For even the improved Monfils, this is a high mountain to climb.